There are a lot of un-pretty truths I have had to accept about myself since my divorce six years ago. One of the cruelest things about divorce is that you are forced to reveal that you are not who you have presented yourself to be to the world. My ex-husband and I were both Oscar-worthy performers when it came to making people think we had a good marriage and happy lives together. Gosh, we could go so far as pretending to each other that things were fine. We kept our secret well.
In my search for truth on this earth, I have tried to be as honest about who I am and how I got here as I can possibly be. So I have sat with myself in many uncomfortable moments of blame and disgust at my failures as a wife. I should have done this and I could have done that and if only I would have known the things I know now. But trust me, I have also sat with myself in moments of anger, criticism and accusation at the man who was my husband. My hypothesized theory still stands that we were both equally innocent and to blame.
The only catch here that I’m having a hard time reconciling in my mind is that my former husband is now remarried and from the looks of things is in a happy relationship, while I am still single and haven’t been in a long term relationship since my divorce. I have prayed about it, read books about it, talked to my therapist about it and opened my heart as best I know how. But so far it hasn’t worked out. One of the things I worry most about is the impact it is having on my children. If I’m honest, I am most embarrassed to my kids that their mom cannot maintain a healthy relationship.
But last night I had a refreshing conversation with my kids and I’m feeling less weight on my shoulders. We were driving to dinner and Taylor Swift’s song Bad Blood came on. My eleven year old son begins his usual rant about how Taylor Swift only sings about being mad at boys and breaking up with them and how she wouldn’t have a singing career if she hadn’t split from so many guys and something must be wrong with her. Unlike me and out of the blue I say “Well I’m like Taylor Swift. I can’t keep a boyfriend.” What???!!! It just slipped right out of my mouth and I wished I could suck it right back in as I waited to hear his response. “Mom, you are nothing like her. You don’t say the other person is always wrong, You just say it didn’t work out. And you don’t do it six times a year!” Well, that was unexpected. But pretty accurate. And what began as an awkward conversation quickly turned into a fun one about how I need a code word text to send to my kids if I’m ever on a bad date with a man so they can text me and say they’re having an emergency to get me out of it. I had no idea it was not that big of a deal to them that I am not a successful dater. Such great news.
Then randomly, or not so randomly, I woke up this morning to an email from a man I use to know. Evidently he reads my blog. Here’s what it said: “You are sensitive and intuitive and I think that gift is one of your biggest strengths as well as your personal weakness. Anyone that wants to get close to you has to realize there is no faking allowed and sincerity and complete honesty are not traits we humans (and mainly males) are known for. So it scares us because it forces us to look past the mirror inside ourselves and most times we don’t like what we see so we recoil.”
I had two reactions to those words. First, it stung, because I want love and I obviously don’t want to be someone who makes men recoil. Second, I’m grateful that my search for sincerity and honesty in myself is leading me toward a man who is searching for the same. I always tell my boys that things that are worthy don’t come fast or easy so take your time and don’t wish your life away. I need to start listening to myself and taking my own advice and just enjoy the journey of finding true love.